Home News by Region Metchosin 2023 a year of firsts for Metchosin, says mayor

2023 a year of firsts for Metchosin, says mayor

Strategic plan for sustainability in four areas: economic, social, environmental & governance. 

metchosin council, mayor
District of Metchosin Mayor Marie-Térèse Little (centre) and councillors Shelly Donaldson, Sharie Epp, Steve Gray, and Jay Shukin. [Nov 2022 - District of Metchosin]

Monday December 18, 2023 | METCHOSIN, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends | METCHOSIN NEWS SECTION

The mayor of Metchosin has penned a year-end piece. It was first published in The Metchosin Muse earlier this month.

metchosin, Mayor, Marie-Térèse Little
Metchosin Mayor Marie-Térèse Little at the Vision West event June 8, 2023. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

We are presenting this to Island Social Trends readers as a way of expanding the footprint of a small rural municipality within the broader south Vancouver Island political landscape.

Metchosin Mayor Marie-Térèse Little has been now one year on the job. The October 2022 municipal election cycle saw voters produce a dramatic shift from several long-time mayors (notably in Langford, View Royal and Metchosin where the mayors had served for about 30 years) to new styles of leadership. In the case of Langford there was also a nearly clean sweep of the council seats as well.

Mayor Little had served on Metchosin council before becoming mayor. She is staunchly steadfast about the agricultural and rural aspects of the small municipality (population just over 5,000 in 2021) while offering progress in areas where collaboration with other municipalities.

district of metchosin, ad, xmas

Indeed, she managed to rise to vice-chair of the Capital Regional District (CRD) board during her first term and in the west shore has set out to be collaborative with mayors across the region. She chairs the Victoria Family Court and Youth Justice Committee.

Metchosin took leadership on environmental issues at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in September 2023.

The mayor’s year-end message to council is titled “A year of Firsts”, delivered as a welcome to the inaugural District of Metchosin council meeting of 2023. Full text is presented below.

A Year of Firsts

by Metchosin Mayor Marie-Térèse Little, PhD (November 6, 2023)

“This is our first year of a four-year mandate and it has been a year of firsts.

We have begun to put an emphasis on planning for the future of this vibrant municipality.  For the first time ever, the District of Metchosin Council has instituted strategic planning into their deliberations and have endorsed an ambitious four-year strategic plan. The focus of the strategic plan is on sustainability in four areas: economic, social, environmental and governance. 

colin plant, Marie-Térèse Little, crd
Capital Regional District Board Chair & Vice-Chair for 2023-2024: Colin Plant & Marie-Térèse Little. [CRD]

This Council is a committed to its farmers and for a first time we have emphasized the importance of agriculture in Metchosin with the start of an Agricultural Plan. A consultant has been hired and we will soon be hearing about the first-ever Agricultural Plan for Metchosin.

Similarly, we are moving forward with plans to rebuild the Firehall. We have received a grant of $10,000 which will contribute to the Firehall Feasibility Study. This is long overdue, and we are moving forward with considering new options for the Firehall rebuild.

The Climate action plan that was initiated in the last term has now been written and accepted by Council. This is the first time Metchosin has a concrete plan that seeks to establish climate action goals for the community and identify specific opportunities to further local efforts towards reducing community greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing resilience.

mitzi dean, Marie-Térèse Little
At the official opening of the crosswalk at Hans Helgesen Elementary on Aug 18, 2023: Mitzi Dean, MLA Esquimalt-Metchosin (left) and District of Metchosin Mayor Marie-Térèse Little. [supplied]

This Council is committed to public safety and safe passage as is evidenced by the placement of a crosswalk and crossing guards at Hans Helgesen elementary school.  A crosswalk at this location has been discussed for the last two decades and finally this Council has committed to making the crosswalk a reality.

For the first time, this council has made a commitment to authentic Public engagement. Once a month, the community is invited to have tea with the Mayor – it is an opportunity to informally meet with the Mayor and Acting Mayor in a group setting. The public engagement on the future of the buffer lands is almost complete. The buffer lands working group met numerous times over the past six months and has formalized some options for Council to consider.

For the first time ever, the Pride flag was flown in Metchosin which demonstrates our commitment to inclusivity and acceptance.  It is a symbol of justice, dignity, and diversity. This was followed by instituting a municipal Flag protocol that will be implemented and followed at the district.

pride flag, metchosin, mayor, rcmp
The Pride flag was raised over Metchosin Municipal Hall on June 29, 2023. [RCMP photo]

This Council is committed to updating and revising our existing Bylaws and we are pursuing a strategic bylaw review. We are committed to complying with provincial legislation such as instituting a respectful workplace policy which establishes practices and procedures to promote an environment of mutual respect, and safety for all. It fosters an environment that values diversity, clearly communicates expectations around behaviour, promotes employee health and safety, provides resources and training to resolve disputes, and has open channels of communication.

As a community of over 5,000 citizens, for the first time we are now responsible for 70% of our policing costs and we have good relations and communications with our service providers.

metchosin, mayor, council, metchosin day, awards
Metchosin Mayor & Council at the 2023 Metchosin Community Day on Sept 10, 2023 (from left): Councillor Steve Gray, Councillor Shari Epp, Mayor Marie-Térèse Little, Councillor Jay Shukin, and Councillor Shelly Donaldson. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

This Council is committed to openness, transparency and good governance and it is reflected in our commitment to open debate even if the topics are awkward and difficult. I commit to you, that we are only holding closed/in camera meetings for reasons stated in section 90 of community charter.

For the first time, we have good communications and relationships with our neighbouring Councils and municipalities. We have an open dialogue and mutual respect with our MLA Hon Mitzi Dean and our Member of Parliament Hon Randall Garrison.

langford, colwood, view royal, metchosin, mayors, vision westshore
Vision Westshore on June 8, 2023 at Olympic View Golf Course (from left): View Royal Mayor Sid Tobias; West Shore Chamber Executive Director Julie Lawlor; MLA Mitzi Dean (Esquimalt-Metchosin) as emcee; Colwood Mayor Doug Kobayashi; Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson; and Metchosin Mayor Marie-Térèse Little. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

We have articulated our expression of gratitude to our volunteers in the community by hosting a Volunteer appreciation night. This year, a concert was held in August to recognize the enormous efforts of our volunteers. This tradition will continue next year with two outdoor summer concerts of appreciation.

It has been a year of hard work and a year of landmark firsts. We will continue with our strategic plan to set a resilient course for Metchosin’s future.”

dumont tirecraft, winter road safety

===== RELATED:

ist main, sd62
Find out more about Island Social Trends! | Happy Holidays!


Island Social Trends has been publishing on the west shore of Greater Victoria since 2008 — previously as West Shore Voice News (2014-2020), and before that Sooke Voice News (2011-2013) and MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010).

mary p brooke, headshot, editor
Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke

News has been posted online daily at IslandSocialTrends.ca since 2020. The Island Social Trends print edition will launch in January 2024.

Founder, editor and publisher for this journey to explore the growing communities of the south Vancouver Island region is Mary P Brooke.

Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. covered COVID news daily in 2020-2022; she now reports with the BC Legislative Press Gallery.

Mary P Brooke ran for school trustee in SD62 (west shore) in 2022. She provides urban food resilience leadership in the region.